Lang Lang: Playing with Flying Keys
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Lang Lang: Playing with Flying Keys

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  20 reviews
HE STARTED LEARNING to play the piano when he was three years old in Shenyang, China. Today he is one of the world’s most outstanding pianists. In this engrossing life story, adapted by Michael French, Lang Lang not only recounts the difficult, often thrilling, events of his early days, but also shares his perspective on his rapidly changing homeland. He thoughtfully explo...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Laurel Leaf (first published 2008)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

The name Lang Lang should be a household word by now. Performing in the Bird's Nest for the Opening Ceremony at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, over 34.9 million viewers in the U.S. alone tuned in to watch. For many, this was their first introduction to the musical phenomena from China. At only 26 years of age, Lang Lang has accomplished more than many twice his age.

Starting at a young age, when most of us aren't even out of diapers yet, Lang Lang showed an aff...more
Brenna
I thought I was getting "Lang Lang: Journey of a Thousand Miles" from the library, and didn't realize that there are two Lang Lang biographies. It seems that this one is geared towards youth, so it wasn't as in-depth in regards to his feelings about his father and as a pianist I wanted to know more about the specifics of his practicing. Interesting nonetheless to read how he came up the ranks and was discovered.
Liz
Straightforward, simple autobiography of LangLang. Very fast read, I think this is intended for a young audience.
Shenek
An autobiography of a child prodigy from China. A fascinating book. It makes me realize that China and the U.S. are in different worlds. I doubt that he would have been a child prodigy if he had been born in the states. His father had a very strict work ethic that Lang Lang was forced to followed. Lang Lang shows how this strict work ethic plus the love of his mother and the teachings of his professors brought him to where he stands today.

My biggest complaint....this is a book on CD about a pia...more
Doris Wedge
This is a fascinating story of the brilliant classical pianist Lang Lang (that's his real first and last name, with each having a different meaning in Chinese lore). He learned to play the piano at age 2 and by by his teen years he had won national (China) and international awards and estimates he had spent 20,000 hours in practice. Readers of "The Outliers" will have a reference point in the number 10,000 hours of so many high achievers. He grew up in such poverty, and had parents who devoted t...more
Clarissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cindi
I just started listening to this one today for my time in the van when the kids have been dropped off. I'm really enjoying it.

Update: I really, really liked this book on CD. I loved hearing about growing up in China as a prodigy. I loved hearing about the intersection between American and Chinese culture. Lang Lang is an amazing individual. I'd really like to see him perform live. I'm going to look at my library to see if there are any DVD's to check out!
Rudy Cordeiro
This was a fun read. My wife and I had the opportunity to watch him in concert, and his fiery personality was only matched by his technical virtuosity. Although this bio goes only into his early thirties, it was still a good documentation of the journey Lang Lang had to take to get to the world stage.
Karen
Read this book, then you'll know what made Lang Lang the way he is today. The way his father raised him proved exactly what Malcolm Gladwell pointed out in his book, The Outliers...There's no such thing as a prodigy, but a hardworking person who happens to be at the right place at the right time, and works on whatever he's good at much more frequently than all the other people.
Naomi
I read both the adult and young adult version of this book. I believe that much of the material was taken from the adult edition written by David Ritz but somehow this one, oriented towards younger readers, seemed more compelling. It could be because Lang Lang's early life in China was so harrowing and dramatic; it was more effective from a younger POV.
Ella
I was interested in reading this after hearing Lang Lang perform. The novel highlights the culture differences between China and North America. Even though I know I will never be as accomplished in music as Lang Lang, this novel furthered my enjoyment of music and has urged me to be passionate about my music, the same way attending the symphony does.
Cherlyn
AFter reading Battle Hymn of Mother Tiger, this one was mild. And in Lang Lang's case it was a Father Tiger. Interesting story, but I just have to wonder about all those pianists out there who practice hours and hours and aren't winners of the competitions.
Judy
Picked this up on the $1 shelf. An interesting read for those interested in Chinese culture and parenting. He provides a view that's heartbreaking at times. I need to check into the real world of classical music and see how he's doing now :-).
Analisa
This was an easy and enjoyable read. I can't help but wonder if all the sacrifice and time he spent (especially as a YOUNG child) are worth it. I will never know...I'll never spend as much time, nor be able to play as well.
Liz
A good book about hard work. In particular, the different form competition takes in America vs. China was pretty interesting. And the physical-heaviness-to-worth-carrying-around ratio was right on.
Phyllis
Wow...I'm amazed of what he had to go through to get to where he's at. Very inspiring! I actually saw him perform live at the San Francisco Davis Symphony Hall last December.
Chris C.
This book is amazing. It shows insight on how harsh Lang Lang was treated so he could become as good as he is today. I felt all the emotions that he felt when he was a boy.
Dutchbaby
Engrossing autobiography of the world-famous Chinese pianist, Lang Lang. Good middle school read.
Mary
omg. i really enjoyed this book. it was amazing.
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1194170
Journey of a Thousand Miles

Number One was a phrase my father -- and, for that matter, my mother --repeated time and time again. It was a phrase spoken by my parents friends and by their friends children. Whenever adults discussed the great Chinese painters and sculptors from the ancient dynasties, there was always a single artist named as Number One. There was the Number One leader of a manufactu

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